6 Gifts to Buy & 6 Not to Buy for the Techies You Love

Good News 8

As a gadget fiend, I love to help folks pick out the best gear. To that end, here's a quick guide to some of the cool things to shop for (and not to shop for) this holiday season.

Buy - Windows 8 Touchscreen Laptops

Don't Buy - Windows Desktops

Windows 8 is here whether we like it or not, and the new OS works best on a brand new touchscreen mobile device rather than a stodgy old desktop. Unless you're looking at an "all-in-one" PC - a PC with a big touchscreen and built-in processor and storage - you're not going to be happy running Windows 8 on a non-touchscreen device. Newer laptops will be a bit more expensive - about $999 for the Yoga pictured above - but it will be worth it if you're planning an upgrade.

Buy - 3D TVs & an Apple TV

Don't Buy - Smart TVs

TV manufacturers are trying to sneak all sorts of junk onto your TV. By adding "features" like streaming video, they often clog up screen real estate and make things harder to use than they have to be. You will, I assure you, never use Netflix on your TV. You just won't.

I do think, however, you should get the most advanced TV you can buy. While most 3D content is uninteresting at best, I do think 3D video and video games will become the norm over the next few years, whether we like it or not. A good TV with 3D capabilities will at least future-proof you for a bit and the Apple TV will give you some excellent streaming sources.

Buy - Mini Tablets

Don't Buy - Full-Sized Tablets

Amazon and Barnes & Noble just released 9-inch versions of their Kindle and Nook tablets and there's a new, full-sized iPad that may be interesting to some. However, I'd honestly recommend trying something like the Nexus 7 or the iPad Mini. I've really enjoyed using these tablets over the larger, more unwieldy full-size models, and they're not as expensive as picking up a piece of "heavy iron."

Buy - A Sturdy Case for Your Old Tablet

Don't Buy - "Kid" Tablets

There are plenty of tablets out there for kids, including devices like the LeapPad and Kurio. None of them are particularly good. I'd recommend steering clear of those things and instead picking up something like the Otterbox Defender so you can cover your old tablet in a solid case. It's cheaper than buying something new for the kiddos (and let's face it, they don't need a new tablet this year) and it keeps it safe for a few years so they can slobber it up with food and Play-Doh when they play Angry Birds.

Buy - A Wii U

Don't Buy - A PS3 or 360

If the kids are asking for a game console this year and you've avoided the last generation, don't try to play catch-up. Instead, I'd recommend looking at the $350 Wii U. I've been playing ours for a few weeks now and I'm really amazed at how fun it is for the whole family. Games like New Super Mario Brothers and NintendoLand are amazing for the little ones and the Wii U now supports more "mature" titles for older folks.

Because all of your old Wii titles are compatible with it, the U makes for a great upgrade and it costs about the same as a new XBox 360 or PS3. Those two consoles, for what it's worth, will probably get updates next year so investing in them now is probably not the way to go.

Buy - Anything but the Furby

Don't Buy - Furby

The Furby is back. Please don't be fooled. They don't love you. They're loud. They're annoying. Please, let's not encourage the Furby people to make more of them? Thank you.

What gadgets are you planning to buy for people this holiday season?


Images via Lenovo; Google

communication, computer, electronics, ereaders, gadgets, gaming


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Gabby... Gabbysmom715

Furby's are 50$ no way I would spend that kind of money on just one(annoying) toy when my daughter would never play with it.

Meg LeRoy Schlagenhauf

Actually, for people who prefer not to have cable/satellite, Netflix and Hulu streaming through the TV is great.  My husband and I subscribe to both, and between the content available there and on our digital receiver's channels, we find plenty of things to watch.

nonmember avatar jennelle

i know you said dont buy kids tablets but ive heard excellent reviews of the nabi 2 and will be getting one for my soon to be 3 year old.. Ive had people say it goes so far to rival and ipad with its abilities and it also doubles up so adults can use it too and everyone has their own account..

EnidA... EnidASophiaA

Bought the furby a month ago. It's the only expensive thing she asked for and one of the few things not Justin Beiber related.

the4m... the4mutts

No way I would let my kids even breathe on any of my technology, much less my beloved nook tablet! No sturdy case needed. They all know to stay the hell away from it.

My kids' dad, has netflix, not cable, on his tv. So you're wrong on that. Its ALL he uses. 3D can b dangerous to young devolping brains, and it KILLS my head. I've been in pain for days after every 3D movie I've seen.

And just so you know, the Wii U, still doesn't ply dvds like the original Wii. I would prefer a 360, so that I don't have a cabl box, console, dvd player, and sensor bars all surrounding my tv. Why have all those when the 360 has a few already built in?

*sigh* I'm not buying technology for the holidays. But I am sick to death of bloggers on here trying to market to us. Your opinions aren't going to change anyones mind. Why not just stick to the standard fluff y'all typicaly write about?

Rhodin Rhodin

My TV is basically just a 46" monitor.  I'm in the living room, sitting on the sofa, typing this.

jagam... jagamama0710

I disagree with all of it except the Furby. lol And maybe the mini size tablets. I want a Nexus 7 for x-mas but I'd be just as happy with a 10. 

I don't care how normal 3d tv's are going to be, I cannot stand this 3d trend. I refuse to watch things with glasses on if I don't need to. I will not be purchasing a 3d tv because in my opinion, that's unnecessary junk and a huge waste of money.

If we didn't already have a 360 and PS3, I'd much rather get those over a Wii U. They are not simply gaming consoles and you get way more bang for your buck.

I watch Netflix on my tv all the time - through the xbox or PS3. I'm guessing you're referring to a Netflix app on the actual tv itself though which could be unnecessary, unless you don't have or want a gaming console. Plenty of people out there like that exist. 

Young kids don't need an adult tablet of their own. My 5 year old has a leappad that she got for Christmas last year. It's awesome. She loves it. And it's perfect for a 5 year old. I've heard good things about the other child tablets out there as well. 

Betwe... BetweenCourses

Apple rv and 3d tv are so dumb and clunky and hard to use! Netflix in the push of a button on a smarttv remote, that's easy. Esp for when the teenage babysitter is cominf over, can say here watch netflix when kids in bed, or with the kids as opposed to do we have enough glasses for the 3d and here's how the complicated apple to works.

1-8 of 8 comments